Medical alert tags provide important information when a person experiences a medical emergency. There are different types of medical alert tags, which vary by personal preference, or the reason for having the tag.

Medical alert tag alternatives offer options for people that want to feel safe and confident when experiencing a medical emergency, without relying on medical alert tags.

What is a Medical Alert Tag?

Medical alert tags notify first responders and emergency personnel that an individual has a chronic medical condition, a medication allergy, or a food allergy.

Some people use medical alert tags on required medical equipment that a person carries with them, such as CPAP equipment.

Types of Medical Alert Tags

There are several types of medical alert tags. They vary according to the specific tag, and sometimes style.

Dog Tags

Dog tags are a popular type of medical alert tag among both adults and children.

This style alerts first responders, and other emergency medical personnel, to a medical condition or allergy that affects the person wearing the necklace-style dog tag.

Luggage Tags

The luggage-style medical alert tag provides information about the individual, and identifies the equipment as medical equipment.

The TSA allows passengers to carry clearly identified medical equipment. The TSA advises passengers to bring a doctor’s note or statement of medical necessity that explains the need for the CPAP or other medical equipment. The equipment travels as carry-on, and does not count towards your carry-on limit.

Shoe Tags

Do you prefer style rather than tradition? Shoe tags offer an alternative for runners or others, including children that prefer medical alert tag options.

The shoe tags option provides the same medical alert information as other styles. Some individuals purchase shoe tags from companies that personalize the tags with individualized information, while others opt for purchasing medical alert shoe tags from a big box store.

USB Tags

Choose USB tags as a high-tech medical alert tag option. The USB tag stores your medical information, contact information, and medical directives, such as a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) directive.

People that choose a USB tag likely assume that the more complete medical information better informs first responders in event of a medical emergency.

Disadvantages to Medical Alert Tags

There are disadvantages to medical alert tags, which for some, possibly outweighs the advantages. Some disadvantages relate to all medical alert tags, while others are unique to specific types of tags.

Dog tag necklaces sometimes break, resulting in a lost dog tag. Wearing a medical alert dog tag requires that you remember to put it on every day. If you forget to put the dog tag on, then you are without your medical alert information.

Luggage tags identify medical equipment as necessary, whether you travel by plane, or other means of transportation. Strict guidelines likely require that you visit your doctor and obtain a letter of medical necessity. If you need to travel on short notice, you risk not being able to obtain the statement in a timely manner.

Some physicians willingly provide a statement, while others require that patients make an appointment. Some physicians book appointments weeks or months in advance.

Medical alert shoe tags potentially seem like a good idea, particularly for runners that assume that first responders will see the shoe tag. Children sometimes prefer shoe tags, and parents often comply with their wishes.

The primary disadvantage to medical alert shoe tags is that first responders often do not look for shoe tags. The primary focus of emergency medical personnel is to provide lifesaving care in a situation where seconds often matter, potentially resulting in missed medical alert shoe tags.

USB medical tags have potential disadvantages. EMS World contributor James Careless explains that when medical emergencies occur, there is no time to plug a USB tag into a computer, and that a computer is not always available in an emergency.

Another disadvantage of medical alert tags is that with so many sites and stores selling them, styles sometimes do not resemble the original medical alert options. Some are general with only the allergy or medical condition listed, and leaves off customized information such as emergency contacts, medical contacts, and other important information.

Alternatives to Medical Alert Tags

Consider alternatives to medical alert tags, which summons help quickly, and does not have some risks associated with medical alert tags.

Bay Alarm Medical

Choose Bay Alarm Medical and receive 24-hour access to highly trained emergency operators. All systems feature industry-leading technology.

The in-home system offers crystal clear two-way communication, and 32-hour battery backup in case of power outage. Add the 4G-LTE option if you do not have a landline, saving money over the cost of adding a landline.

Go anywhere and do anything with the 4G-LTE mobile option. This is not just for seniors, because parents sometimes choose this option, providing children with the emergency help button, and the GPS technology that helps locate any user.


MobileHelp provides medical alert systems at home, and on-the-go options. Experience U.S. based sales and customer service consultants, no long-term contracts or hidden fees.

The MobileHelp Classic protects you at home, even if you do not have a landline telephone. It installs in seconds, includes a help button and other features. The MobileHelp Solo and MobileHelp Duo options offer 24-hour emergency monitoring services, several other features and services.

Choose stylish options, such as the MobileHelp Smart, a medical system smart watch, that allows users to embrace an active lifestyle, and feel safer away from home.

Medical Guardian

Choose Medical Guardian as your medical tag alternative, and receive a medical alert system with no contracts, no hidden fees, free equipment, and free activation.

Medical Guardian offers a variety of in-home and on-the-go options. One in-home option is Classic Guardian, offering 1300 feet of protection, and clear, two-way communication. It operates with your landline phone.

Choose from other options, including the Family Guardian. The system combines the medical system with activity monitoring, and uses three in-home safety sensors.

Choose from several on-the-go options to help protect you or your loved ones away from home. The Mobile Guardian provides 24-hour personal safety in the GPS-enabled system, while the Active Guardian serves as an all-in-one system, featuring GPS, WI-FI, and fall detection technology.

There are other stylish Mobile Guardian medical alert system options.

Best Medical Alert Tag Alternative
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Bay Alarm Medical Offers the Best Alternative to Medical Alert Tags
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